Headlice Nits problem

Where do head lice come from: sources of lice

Where do head lice and Nits come from?

Head lice are a common problem throughout the world. and are not new. Head lice and nits have been found with the remains of 3000 year old Egyptian mummies.

Head lice cannot fly or jump. However, they can crawl or drop from one head to another. Children and adults generally catch head lice when the head of someone who is infected with head lice comes in contact with another. Once infected, head lice can then pass to individual, friend or family member.

Head lice will usually die within 24 hours if they are not kept warm or do not have a supply of human blood.

Head lice will not survive outside their natural environment of the human head. Periods outside their natural temperature will kill nits and head lice.

It is very unusual for live head lice to be found on hats, scarves, combs, brushes, pillows or towels unless they have been very recently used.

Human head lice cannot survive on dogs, cats or other animals. These are not therefore sources of infection.

The primary method of catching head lice is by head to head contact with an infected person.

Head to head contact is therefore the main issue to avoid. Once an infection has been detected, all efforts should be focused to eradicate the head lice and nits on the heads and reduce head to head, or hair to hair, contact whenever possible.


Where Do Lice Come From? Bugs that Look like Lice

Lice are the contagious parasites that are harmless. Pediculus humanus capitis or lice are microscopic insects that reside within your hair. The head lice feed on other living bodies in order to survive. They feed on human blood from the scalp to survive. The head lice are neither airborne nor do they fly. They cannot live in water and only survive by clinging on the hair strands. But where do lice come from? What are cat lice? What’s the difference between flea vs lice? Which bugs look like lice?


There are two common answers for this question, one is that you might have caught lice from another person when in head-to-head contact. You can also catch lice if you use the personal belongings like brush, comb or clothing items of another person.

Another answer for this question where do lice come from that ten thousand years ago head lice evolved differently from the body lice once the humans started wearing clothing items. The head lice attach over the scalp while the body lice attach to the thin clothing fibers.

It divides the head lice into 3 clades based on the genetic makeup. The clade is a term used to describe a group of organisms sharing a common ancestor but not identical to each other. They divide the clades into A, B and C clades based on their geographic distribution along with their genetic characteristics. The head lice belonging to Clade B originated within North America and migrated to the entire world including Europe and Australia.

The scientists derived the DNA from mitochondria of headlice all around the world to trace the ancestry of head lice i.e. around 2 million years back. They believe Clade C split from the rest of the group after 700,000 to 1 million years ago that the split between Clade B and Clade A.

There are three different types of lice, head lice, body lice, and cat lice. All the lice emerged several years ago. They made these discoveries based on their genetic differences.


The head lice are present over the scalp, it transmits from one person to another through close personal association. Mostly, the person with lice infestation should be in close contact with the head of the infected person. Sharing brushes, combs, hats, towels or other personal stuff results in the spread of lice. The lice travel by crawling onto the scalp or hair of a person. It can also invade a person’s clothing.

The body lice is a parasite with a mutation, it has claws which allows them to grab the smooth clothing fibers rather than clinging on the hair shafts.

The cat lice infest the pets and cause discomfort along with itchiness for your pets. Catching lice or fleas is very common for pets even if they are indoors. Fleas and lice easily survive in the humid and warm environment, especially during summer.


Fleas and lice are both harmful to you as well as your pets. Both fleas and lice are wingless, small and parasitic insects which are capable of living on you as well as your pet. Both of them result in discomfort for the hosts. They cause itchiness and irritation to the skin.

Following are the differences between flea vs lice:

  • Other than these similarities, fleas can jump for many inches within the air while lice are slow-moving insects and they are sedentary.
  • The lice are easier to eradicate while the fleas are difficult to get rid of. The fleas need intensive treatment for complete eradication.
  • Fleas bite the warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, and humans while scientific studies base the lice on species.
  • Pets are more prone to lice especially dogs and cats. They catch lice due to poor health, bad hygiene, and nutrition. The two different types of lice affect the dogs i.e. suckling and biting lice. The different types of biting lice affect the cats. When the lice bite the cats and dogs, they experience itchiness, skin irritation and scabs because of scratching. Specific shampoos and powders affect the lice which they formulate for pets.


Bedbugs have a great resemblance to lice. It is a prime concern to identify the type of pest infesting your body or your home. Whatever, the bug is you need a proper eradication plan to get rid of them.

Bedbugs or Cimex lectularius are oval-shaped, flat insects. They are small and reddish-brown insects with six legs. The adult bedbugs are a 1/4 th inch in length while the nymphs or baby bedbugs are a 1/16 th inch in length. Lice or Pediculus humanus spp have white to brown or dark gray color. They are six-legged, tiny insects with oval-shaped bodies. The adult lice are a 1/8 th inch in length while the baby lice or nymphs are similar in size to the baby bedbugs.

Bedbugs are parasites which carry the diseases so you need a professional exterminator to get rid of them. There are three different types of lice i.e. body, head, and pubic lice. The body lice are the only ones known for causing the disease. They result in trench fever, live-born relapse fever, epidemic typhus or lice-borne typhus.

Both bedbugs and lice cannot fly so it is difficult to determine them. If a bug similar to both of them is flying, then suspect a cockroach, carpet beetle or nymph.

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You find bedbugs near beddings, crevices, and cracks. You can also find them in clothing, personal items, luggage, furniture, and others. On the other hand, you will find lice over the host. They attach the eggs over the host and feed on them.


Lice are the creepy creatures, it is a very embarrassing situation if one catches the lice. Once you identify lice or bugs that look like lice, you definitely need an immediate treatment to get rid of them.

Filed Under: Fleas, Others Pest Tagged With: Lice


Where Do Lice Come from Originally? Causes & Remedies

Where do head lice come from? Well, there are many sources or causes of head lice on hair or dogs. This article explains the places where one can pick these cumbersome bugs. I will also examine the many ways to cure them, including natural remedies for lice eradication. So if you are wondering how head lice are created or where they live in the wild, continue reading below.

Causes of Head Lice

Head lice are small parasites sustained by human blood. They only infect human head and would certainly not survive outside this environment. The key questions asked by many people is ‘what causes head lice?

Head to head contact is the main cause of head lice. Personal contact with infected person is necessary for the transference of infection, and this is common during sporting activities and is the reason why they are rampant in children.

It can also spread by sharing contaminated items such as clothes, combs, scarves, hats, brushes and hair ribbons among other personal items. Head lice can also crawl from couches, bed, furniture, pillow and carpets to your head, but the risk is very minimal.

Can Head Lice Jump?

No, head lice cannot jump. In fact, they cannot live for prolonged hours- a maximum of 24 hours after they fall from the host’s head. Head lice depend entirely on their host for survival.

These creatures can only spread from one person another through crawling since they cannot fly or jump. They have claws which they use to grab onto the hair and personal items such as clothes, hats and scarves from where they can move to the next host for survival. Also, you should know that head lice do not have the ability to walk, swim, hope or even fly.

Signs of Head Lice

Head lice signs and symptoms can go unnoticed for several days in many persons. On signs of head lice, Mayo Clinic provides a number of common signs and symptoms that signal head lice infection.

These signs include:

  • Itching– Itching is usually the initial symptoms of head lice infection. You are likely to experience itching on areas around ears, back of the neck and the scalp in general. However, for initial lice infection, itching may not occur for weeks after infestation. Some people can also develop tolerance to itching in subsequent infection.
  • Spotting a live louse on the scalp– Even though they are difficult to spot by necked eyes; they can be easily seen when you use comb detector. Detecting a live louse is the sure way of confirming active head lice infection.
  • Presence of nits on hair shafts– Nits on hair shafts and closer to the scalp is also a sign of head lice infection. Even though nits are microscopic in size and difficult to notice, it is possible to spot a bunch of incubating nits in areas around ears and the back of the neck- this environment ideal environment to thrive..

Head Lice Eggs Treatment

Head lice eggs treatment is usually difficult than head lice treatment for a number of reasons.

  • First, unlike head lice, nits are tightly held onto hair shafts by special glue. This makes it difficult to comb them out of your hair.
  • Secondly, hair nits have hard coating that makes it difficult for treating substance to penetrate and kill the larvae.

There is no known insecticide or lice remedy that is capable of killing head lice eggs. But they usually killed on second application of treatment.

A number of remedies including spray and lotions are approved by FDA to treat hair nits. These medicated lotions and sprays are effective nit elimination agents in all types of hair.

These treatments can be purchased over the counter from supermarkets, pharmacies and online drug stores. In most cases, lotion and spray kits come with fine toothed lice comb for removing eggs and dead lice. Repeat application is necessary to kill newly hatched lice.

Always check the park labels on how to use the substance and also to establish active ingredients and whether they treatments is suitable for your condition.

For those who not prefer treatments with chemicals, they can use detection comb- a special comb designed to comb out nits and live head lice from your head. These combs are also available in drug stores, supermarkets and online stores.

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of metal combs as opposed to plastic combs which are less effective. While it is important to follow instructions, general guidelines demand that you:

  • Use the comb for both dry and wet hair, but wet combing with conditioner is usually the best way if you want to get rid of hair nits and head lice.
  • Remember to comb the entire hair from the roots to hair ends
  • Combing should be repeated daily or after a few days for two weeks.

Lice (Nits) Removal Products

Head lice treatment products include conditioner to shampoos and special combs. These are currently available in the market today.

A look at Amazon, Wal-mart and Walgreen stores reveals several products including Licefree spray, Rid kits, Nix Family Park, Vamousse lice treatment and Cozy Boo products.

Others include Lyclear brands, Nitty Gritty, Hendrin, Derbac and Full mark spray which are effective for Lice (nits) removal. Most of these kits have conditioner, shampoo and lice combs for removal of lice and hair nits.

Always look for approved ingredients in your products such as pyrethrins which is found in Nix products; Permethrin lotion such as Nix; Benzyl Alcohol Lotion which is present in Ulesfia lotion; Ivercmectin lotion rich products like Sklice; melathion lotions in Ovide and Spinosad or Natroba.

Lindane product is a type of organochloride recommended for second line treatment for lice and nits removal.

Natural Remedies for Lice

Most products found over the counter such as pyrethrins rich products, ivermactin lotions, lindane and melathion have harmful chemical substances for human health. They are particularly inappropriate for small kids, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and HIV positive people.

The good news is that natural remedies for lice treatment and prevention have proved to be effective in treating lice and nits.

Specifically, homeopathic lice treatment, organic lice treatment, and head lice repellant are some of the most effective natural remedies for lice treatment and prevention.

The following section describes some natural remedies for lice and nits treatment and prevention.

Homeopathic Lice Treatment

It is also possible to treat lice and hair nits using homeopathic lice treatment approaches. Homeopathic methods of lice treatment are also suitable for chronic- recurrent and unending cases and also for acute lice infection.

The essence of homeopathy is to help the kid to become naturally resistant to future lice re-infestation. Staphysagria is the main remedy used in recurrent and acute lice infections.

Funny enough, this remedy provides victimhood feelings of lice infection in the child’s mental symptom picture. Consequently, the child is able to suppress emotional feelings and sensitivity associated with lice infections.

It is important to find the right remedy capable of supporting and healing susceptibility of the child to lice infestations as this would enhance their resistance to several rounds of lice infections.

This approach is time consuming, but would certainly strengthen your child and replaces common nasty chemicals present in most treatments for head lice.

Alongside homeopathy, physical support is needed to eliminate the current crop of lice. This may involve using natural remedies that is free from dangerous chemicals. They include almond oil and olive oil used together with essential oils such as tea tree oil.


These oils are mixed and used to smoother the hair, then wrapped into a towel or shower cap. The mixture will certainly suffocate the lice if left for about eight hours.

After waiting time, comb out suffocated and slow moving head lice as well as loosened eggs or nits from the hair.

Take your time to comb carefully and thoroughly to completely free the hair off the lice and nits. Finalize by washing the hair and repeat the process after two weeks. A two week cycle is imperative in getting rid of any hatched nymphs from the hair thus breaking their life cycle.

Organic Lice Treatment

These are natural remedies for nits and lice treatment and prevention- commonly used by people who do not want chemicals staffed products for lice removal.

The recent outbreak of lice resistance to common medications has necessitated the need for home made natural remedies for lice treatment and prevention.

Remember that any substance applied to the skin is absorbed directly into blood system within seconds and could be a health hazard. As stated above, organic lice treatment is a concoction of essential oils such as tea tree oil and base oil like almond and olive oil.

This process has been extensively explained in the last part of homeopathic lice treatment above.

Head Lice Repellent

According to head lice center, it is possible prevent head lice by using essential oils. Besides, DIY lice prevention and treatment spray also works effectively as a natural remedy.

Essentially, head lice are usually attracted to human smell; hence masking could potentially retain them on their current host and will not spread to new hosts.

A variety of essential oils have natural repellant properties that work by making human body unattractive to head lice. The following oils have shown some degree of repelling lice thus preventing any future attack:

  • Geranium and clove
  • Lavender and olive oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Cinnamon leaf oil.


Epidemiology & Risk Factors

In the United States, infestation with head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) is most common among preschool- and elementary school-age children and their household members and caretakers. Head lice are not known to transmit disease; however, secondary bacterial infection of the skin resulting from scratching can occur with any lice infestation.

Getting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his or her environment.

Head lice are mainly spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. The most common way to get head lice is by head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. Such contact can be common among children during play at

  • School,
  • Home, and
  • Elsewhere (e.g., sports activities, playgrounds, camp, and slumber parties).

Uncommonly, transmission may occur by

  • Wearing clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons worn by an infested person;
  • Using infested combs, brushes or towels; or
  • Lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person.

Reliable data on how many people get head lice each year in the United States are not available; however, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age. Some studies suggest that girls get head lice more often than boys, probably due to more frequent head-to-head contact.

In the United States, infestation with head lice is much less common among African-Americans than among persons of other races. The head louse found most frequently in the United States may have claws that are better adapted for grasping the shape and width of some types of hair but not others.


17 Super-Effective Ways to Get Rid of Lice

If you have faced lice infestation, do not panic: there are numerous helpful remedies and home-made recipes for killing pests and keeping them at bay. Find out what the most useful methods are, and how to exterminate parasites totally. Before we start enlisting popular and high-performance remedies, it is essential to answer some frequently asked questions. For instance, how do you know if you have lice? As a rule, people start noticing it when scalp starts scratching severely, and nits are accidentally found when combing. Others may start noticing tiny white objects moving on a person’s head. Scalp skin dryness is another symptom of infestation.

Where do lice come from? As a rule, it is done via contact between people’s heads, especially when family members sleep in one bed. Parasites can stay on bed sheets, clothes and caps. That’s why bugs may even travel via clothes stored in checkroom. Insects do not live without blood more than 1-2 days, so it is impossible to catch them on the street.

Who can catch lice? Actually, hygiene does not play much role: insects may live on clean or dirty hair regardless of their length and color, and scalp dryness. Parasites are met on kids and adults, white and Afro-American people – they make no difference between us, being transmitted via head-to-head contact.

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Combing is the Golden Rule

No matter what kind of insecticide you use, without rid id won’t be 100% effective. Combing is the main thing that should be done during your struggle against pests, because it allows removing eggs and preventing the growth of bugs’ population. Remember that this procedure should be done every single day, so be patient: it will take a lot of time. Find a comb with fine teeth made of stainless steel: it costs about $10, and can be purchased in any drugstore. Before starting to comb nits prepare your place by lighting it and having a towel on your shoulders to catch fallen insects and eggs. Ask someone to help you and do the following:

  1. Rinse hair with tap water, using a special shampoo or some other remedy against lice.
  2. Detangle hairs and start combing them from roots, and remove eggs. When combing a lock, fix it with hairpin and go to another. Thus, you will prevent re-infestation. You can use magnifying glass with light: it will help to detect bugs easier.
  3. When you combed the hair, wash the instruments properly and get rid of eggs to make sure they won’t hatch.

Use a magnifying glass to see the lice.

Natural Power of Olive Oil

You can repeat the procedure several times during four-sex weeks.

Try Permethrin Lotion

Permethrin (analogue of pyrethrin) is an ingredient of various over-the-counter remedies. It attacks live lice in hair and kills them within minutes. Despite being highly efficient, it should be used carefully, because parasites may become resistant to it, and the product tends to cause allergy in some people.

Usage is simple: apply the lotion on shampooed wet hair (do not use conditioner) and work it in. Keep it for ten minutes, wash away and comb out eggs and bugs. This procedure may be performed a week or more after primary treatment.

How to Get Rid of Lice With Mayonnaise?

This product is considered to be one of the safest things for killing parasites on head. It makes lice suffocate and eventually die. Method of use is quite simple:

  1. Apply mayonnaise on hair and distribute it properly.
  2. Put a plastic bag on scalp (not entire head), or wrap it with plastic film.
  3. Leave it for at least 5-6 hours.
  4. Wash your head with regular shampoo, or special remedy – it will ensure better effect.
  5. Comb out the nits and bugs.

Hair Dryer as Additional Measure

Since lice are afraid of high temperatures, hot air is very helpful for killing eggs. However, it is not effective for exterminating live adult parasites. Compare: a usual bonnet dryer kills about 80-90% of eggs, and only 10% of insects. Blow dryer appears to be more helpful, killing about half of live bugs. So use hair dryer after washing head, and you will increase the chances of critter eradication. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t apply chemical remedies before hot air drying, because some of them may appear to be inflammable.

So use hair dryer after washing head, and you will increase the chances of critter eradication.

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This is the basic constituent of Natroba lotion – an organic insecticide that is made of bacteria living in soil. It is safe for children from 3 years, and may be used on daily basis. Studies show that spinosad is twice more helpful than permethrin. To perform treatment, apply the remedy on the scalp, work it from roots to ends of dry hair. Keep for 10 minutes, and rid the parasites. Be aware of side effects: spinosad may cause irritation of skin and eyes.

Tired of lice comb? Try Ivermectin

The procedure can be done several times a week.

Discover New Properties of Hair Styling Gel

Although it was not testted, many moms swear that styling gel does wonders, making up for proper head lice treatment. It is supposed that the product clogs breath holes of bugs and suffocates them. Petroleum jelly is proved to be better than other home-made remedies, but it is harder to wash totally than styling gel. The procedure of use requires the same steps as written above: apply the gel on scalp and hair, put shower cap on, and leave for a night. Then wash it out, rid nits and repeat the procedure in 7 days.

Benzyl alcohol lotion 5%

This remedy was sold under brand name Ulesfia was a real hit several years ago. It works by destroying parasite’s breathing system and making them suffocate. Note that it does not kill eggs. To achieve better result, apply the lotion at least twice: in two weeks after the second treatment you are likely to kill head lice entirely. Ulesfia is suitable for babies from 6 months, as well, but should be used cautiously, because it may cause eye and skin irritation.

Usage is simple:

  • saturate dry scalp and hair with the remedy;
  • wait ten minutes;
  • rinse it out, and use shampoo, if you want;
  • remove dead insects and eggs.

Shrinking and Wrapping: Method That Always Works

The name may be confusing, because it actually does not presuppose wrapping of any kind. What it requires is application of Cetaphil skin cleanser, a safe product that dries hair. After application, combing out should be done as properly as possible, then hair is to be dried. The procedure should be performed three times with pauses of one week. This method is good for children, and is recommended by many doctors. Studies show that in the end of the treatment, vast majority of patients were cured, and some manage to exterminate parasites entirely within 6 months after treatment.

After application, combing out should be done as properly as possible, then hair is to be dried.

Pyrethrum Shampoos: Proved by Time

How to get rid of lice fast? Resolve to a method that is typically prescribed by doctors, and is supposed to help you within a month or less. Pyrethrum is an active ingredient of many over-the-counter remedies. It is produced from chrysanthemum flowers which have organic insecticides. It works by spoiling the work of bugs’ nervous system, but will not necessarily kill all the critters, because some of them may develop resistance to the poison.

How to use a lice shampoo? Apply it on dry hair and keep for 10 minutes. Then pour water, work it on hair and scalp, and rinse. Repeat the procedure in 7-10 days to exterminate bugs that left. Watch for allergic reactions! You may apply shampoo on a small piece of skin and keep it for several minutes to check whether it gets red or starts itching. If allergy reveals, try another product.

Repeat the procedure in 7-10 days to exterminate bugs that left.

How to Remove Leftovers of Remedies?

Perhaps, if you try some home-made remedies like mayonnaise or styling gel, they won’t be so easy to remove with the help of usual shampoo. That’s when dish soap can help you out. It dissolves fats and sticky substances, fully removing greasy mess. Some dish soap products like Dawn may even break down the glue sticking eggs to hairs, so it’s a good idea to try it before rid.

Tea Tree Oil Against Lice

This is a strong insecticide that exterminates parasites and soothes itching. It can be used two ways:

  • Mix tea tree oil and shampoo in the ratio of 3-5 drops and 1 ounce. Shampoo your hair with this remedy, then dry and comb our insects and nits. This mixture should be used for 2 months minimum.
  • Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil. Optionally, you can add 1 eucalyptus oil spoon. Apply this mixture on scalp and head, work it into scalp. Leave for 20-30 minutes, and shampoo your hairs. This procedure should be done twice a week during 1-2 months.

Use this remedy carefully, because it is strong and may cause allergy.

Mix tea tree oil and shampoo in the ratio of 3-5 drops and 1 ounce.

Ways to Use Vinegar

This is one of the oldest remedies effectiveness of which was tried by people worldwide. How to get rid of lice with vinegar? You can try using it three different ways:

  1. Apply pure cider vinegar on damp hair and scalp, working it in properly. Keep during ten minutes and cleanse with warm tap water. Detangle hairs and comb eggs and bugs.
  2. Pour a sink full of water and vinegar in 1:1 ratio. Emerge your scalp into it standing near the sink turned face to it, or sitting backwards. Keep your head like that for ten minutes and then wash thoroughly.
  3. Add vinegar to mineral oil and apply on hairs. Put shower cap on and leave overnight. The next day, wash your head with shampoo and rid insects and eggs.

LouseBuster: Try a Top-Notch Technology

How do you get rid of lice fast? LouseBuster is created for instant extermination. In fact, this device is a small vacuum-cleaner with a special brush on. It blows hot air on scalp and roots of hair to dry out bugs and nits. According to the results of experiments, LouseBuster device killed almost 100% of nits and about 80% of live bugs.

This method is very effective, but it is provided by certified operators only, so search for companies in your region. The procedure is safe and fast: typically, it takes about 30 minutes, and is suitable for children and adults with any hair length.

this device is a small vacuum-cleaner with a special brush on.

Malathion lotion

How To Get Rid Of Lice In Your Home?

It is important to remember that proper house cleaning also contributes to quicker extermination. Lice may fall and stay in the house, which is why other family members and guests may catch parasites, or re-infestation may occur. Take the following measures:

    • Vacuum clean the car seat where an affected person sits, especially where he or she rests head.
    • Change bed sheets, pillowcases, towels and pajamas every day, washing them in hot water and then performing high heat dry cycle.
    • Any non-washable item that were in contact with your child’ head (toys, hair bands, etc) should be sealed in a plastic bag during a couple of weeks. They can just be kept away from your kid while you are struggling against parasites.
    • Combs and brushes used by the affected person should be properly washed in hot water to be free from nits and bugs.

Remember that house cleaning does not stop the infestation, but it helps to prevent secondary infestation and ensure that insects won’t appear on someone else’s hair.

Now you know the most well-known remedies and methods of struggle against lice and their nits. Use them as soon as you notice the presence of parasites, and in several weeks or months you will forget about the pests forever. And don’t forget about prevention measures, as well!

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